Memorial Day was yesterday, and it’s always caused me to reflect on how best to honor those men and women who have fought and died for their country. It’s important to get this kind of thing right—we don’t honor them for what they did for us, we honor them for what they did for themselves. Every soldier who has fought and died should have done so not as a sacrifice, but in their own effort to maintain for themselves and their loved ones a nation that represents their highest values.
I’m saved from the need to go into details by a piece at Capitalism Magazine, which says mainly the right things. In summary:
If we wish to truly honor the men and women who are selfishly risking their lives to protect their (and our) freedoms, those of us who are able to speak out should.
We can demand that our government pursue a rational foreign policy based on defending American self-interest. We can demand that our leaders explicitly identify Islamic Totalitarianism as the enemy and explicitly pursue the goal of overwhelming victory over that enemy. And we can demand that our military be allowed to achieve that victory by all necessary means.
In short, we must exercise the precious freedoms (such as freedom of speech) that prior generations of soldiers have fought and died for, and use those freedoms to defend the ability of the current generation of soldiers who are now fighting (and dying) to preserve them. That’s in our self-interest as Americans — and a matter of simple justice towards those serving in our military.
All I would say differently is to stress that fighting and dying in war is a very selfish thing to do. And for that, I would like to pay tribute here to the men and women who have done so.